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Insightful Quotes about Art and Artmaking

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Thanks to Margaret Smith for sending this one along:

There is no lighter burden, nor more agreeable, than a pen. Other pleasures fail us, or wound us while they charm; but the pen we take up rejoicing, and lay down with satisfaction; for it has the power to advantage not only its lord and master but many others as well, even though they be not born for thousands of years to come.... As there is none among earthly delights more noble than literature, so there is none more lasting, none gentler or more faithful; none that accompanies its possessor through the vicissitudes of life at so small a cost of effort or anxiety.

- Petrarch

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Thanks to Geoff Pope for sending this one along:

The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.

--Emily Dickinson

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If you express the best you have in you in your work, it is more than just the best you have in you that you are expressing.

-Frederick Buechner

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If you lose yourself in your work, you find who you are.

--Frederick Buechner

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Poetry may be defined as a way of remembering what it would impoverish us to forget.

-Robert Frost

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An unliterary man may be defined as one who reads books once only.

-C.S. Lewis

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Thanks to Fritz Liedtke for forwarding this and a few of the above excerpts:

The story itself should force its moral upon you. You find out what the moral is by writing the story....

-C.S. Lewis

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"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening

that is translated through you into action,

and because there is only one of you in all time,

this expression is unique.

If you block it,

it will never exist through any other medium

and be lost.

The world will not have it.

It is not yours to determine how good it is;

nor how it compares with other expressions.

It is your business to keep the channel open.

You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.

You have to keep open and aware directly

to the urges that motivate you.

Keep the channel open.

No artist is ever pleased.

There is no satisfaction whatever at any time.

There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction;

a blessed unrest that keeps us marching

and makes us more alive than the others."

--Martha Graham

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A man in our society is not left alone. Not in the cities. Not in the woods. We must have commerce with our fellows, and that commerce is difficult and uneasy.

I do not understand how to live in this society. I don`t get it. Each person has an enormous effect. Call it environmental impact if you like. Where my foot falls, I leave a mark, whether I want to or not. We are linked together, each to each. You can`t breathe without taking a breath from somebody else. You can`t smile without changing the landscape. And so I ask the question: Why is theatre so ineffectual, unnew, not exciting, fussy, not connected to the thrilling recognition possible in dreams?

It`s a question of spirit. My ungainly spirit thrashes around inside me, making me feel lumpy and sick. My spirit is this moment dissatisfied with the outward life I inhabit. Why does my outward life not reflect the enormity of the miracle of existence? Why are my eyes blinded with always new scales, my ears stopped with thick chunks of fresh wax, why are my fingers calloused again? I don`t ask these questions lightly. I beat on the stone door of my tomb. I want out! Some days I wake up in a tomb, some days on a grassy mound by a river. Today I woke up in a tomb. Why does my spirit sometimes retreat into a deathly closet? Perhaps it is not my spirit leading the way at such times, but my body, longing to lie down in marble gloom and rot away.

Theatre is a safe place to do the unsafe things that need to be done. When it`s not a safe place, it`s abusive to actors and audiences alike. When its safety is used to protect cowards masquerading as heroes, it`s a boring travesty.

An actor who is truly heroic reveals the divine that passes through him, that aspect of himself that he does not own and cannot control. The control and artistry of the heroic actor is in service to his soul.

We live in an era of enormous cynicism. Do not be fooled.

Don`t act for money. You`ll start to feel dead and bitter. Don`t act for glory. You`ll start to feel dead, fat and fearful.

We live in an era of enormous cynicism. Do not be fooled.

You can`t avoid the pitfalls. There are lies you must tell. But experience the lie. See it as something dead and unconnected you clutch. And let it go.

Act from the depth of your feeling imagination. Act for celebration, for search, for grieving, for worship, to express that desolate sensation of wandering through the howling wilderness.

Don`t worry about art.

Do these things and it will be art.

--John Patrick Shanley

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Art's necessary illusions serve to expose the illusory character of the experienced world.... Artists of neciessity refer to the given world, yet to be art their work must imply (refer to) a whole new world of unrealized possibility.

--James William McClendon, Witness: Systematic Theology

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Where there is no exaggeration there is no love, and where there is no love there is no understanding.

--Oscar Wilde

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...for all this: imagination. To tell our stories, to play them out, to paint pictures, moving and still, but above all to glimpse another way of being. Because as much as we need to describe the world we do live in, we need to dream up the kind of world we want to live in.

--Bono

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Clint M   

"...Christians, freed from untowards assumptions about what art it and how it means, can actually see, feel, and hear more intensely; they can celebrate all the more riotously, simply because there is no confusion of messages, no false assumptions about causality, no worry about aberrant power and perverse behavioral leverage. They can maintain complete freedom from the artwork while being completely free to act with it. Faith rules over works, maker over handiwork, revelation over creation, and Creator over all. It is God who is both means and end, alpha and omega, author and finisher. Knowing this and living it out both rescues us and our art from error, misuse, and, above all, idolatry."

-Harold Best, Music Through the Eyes of Faith

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Diane   

When a book leaves your hands, it belongs to God. He may use it to save a few souls or to try a few others, but I think that for the writer to worry is to take over God's business.

-Flannery O'Connor

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Diane   

The fact is that if the writer's attention is on producing a work of art, a work that is good in itself, he is going to take great pains to control every excess, everything that does not contribute to this central meaning and design. He cannot indulge in sentimentality, in propagandizing, or in pornography and create a work of art, for all these things are excesses. They call attention to themselves and distract from the work as a whole.

-Flannery O'Connor

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DanBuck   

Art is why I get up in the morning, but my definition ends there. It doesn't seem fair. I'm living for something I can't even define.

-Ani DiFranco

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Clint M   

"We have to remind ourselves continually that even though the arts have power, their power is of a lesser order. The arts are less than their makers and users, who are, in turn, instructed to be sovereign over them... We worship the power of the Lord while the power of the artifact finds its humble place among all lesser powers over which we have been granted sovereignty and from which we are completely free. Therefore, God forbid that we calls these powers 'ministry' and hide behind them while we watch them go to work."

Harold Best, Unceasing Worship

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mrmando   

ART

In placid hours well-pleased we dream

Of many a brave unbodied scheme.

But form to lend, pulsed life create,

What unlike things must meet and mate:

A flame to melt--a wind to freeze;

Sad patience--joyous energies;

Humility-yet pride and scorn;

Instinct and study; love and hate;

Audacity--reverence. These must mate,

And fuse with Jacob's mystic heart

To wrestle with the angel--Art.

Herman Melville, 1891

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Anya   

"You are kind to painters, and I tell you the more I think, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people."

~Vincent Van Gogh

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"The problem is not that modern evangelicals are less intelligent than Lewis. As Mark Noll explains in his book The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, the problem is that our sharpest intellects have been channeled into biblical scholarship, exegesis, and hermeneutics. While that is a vital enterprise, we rarely give the same scholarly attention to history, literature, politics, philosophy, economics, or the arts. As a result, we are less aware of the culture than we should be, less equipped to defend a biblical worldview, and less capable of being a redemptive force in our postmodern society -- less aware, as well, of the threats headed our way from cultural elites."

- Chuck Colson

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/chuckco...c20041129.shtml

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"Art is the solution of a problem which cannot be expressed explicitly until it is solved."

-Piet Hein

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